Applying to UT Austin PhD Programs

Portuguese students are welcome to apply to UT Austin doctoral programs on the same basis as other prospective students. Doctoral program students with FCT scholarships are entitled to support of a maximum amount of €8000 per year to fund registration and tuition fees at UT. Students must provide a document to FCT stating registration and tuition costs, for FCT to approve payment. Information about UT tuition amounts for specific semesters may be found on the Office of Accounting's Tuition and Fee Rates page. As of Spring 2014, graduate tuition and fees for one academic year (two semesters, full time) is approximately €12000.

Each department at UT Austin has its own rules governing admissions, coursework and degree requirements. Students must consult the websites and Graduate Coordinators of their prospective departments in order to find specifics.

What Do You Want to Study?

Which department to apply to depends on your interests. Once accepted into any department, it is relatively easy for a student to take courses in other departments, but the core curriculum and a majority of your dissertation committee will be determined by your home department.

Students in the UT Austin|Portugal Mathematics or Advanced Computing programs would most likely want to study in the Departments of Mathematics or Computer Science, respectively, although other engineering or science programs might be a possibility for students doing research with applications in those areas.

Digital Media students may find that they have more options. Many students with an interest in theories of interactivity will fit best in the Radio-Television-Film Department, but students with a background in online journalism may apply to Journalism and those with a focus in interactive advertising may apply to Advertising. Recently the School of Information has become very active in CoLab Digital Media R&D projects, so students with interests aligned with “iSchool” faculty may wish to apply there. The Digital Media program faculty and staff are available to help you in your selection of a department and in preparing your application, in particular your Statement of Purpose (see below). If you have questions please contact Dr. Sharon Strover or Cecilia Garrec.

How to Apply for Graduate Study at UT

Applying for graduate study at UT requires two separate applications:

1. Admission to the Graduate School, and
2. Admission to a particular department or school.

The Graduate School provides a step-by-step guide to graduate admissions. Your department’s Graduate Coordinator may have a similar guide or FAQ for your department.

In applying for graduate study at UT, bear in mind that the application deadlines are inflexible and refer to U.S. central time. Be sure to meet the deadlines both for the Graduate School and for your department. Additionally, know that most programs accept students only for the fall semester, which means that there is only one application cycle per year.

More on Doctoral Program Applications

Although requirements vary from department to department, three components of any international student’s application will be the Statement of Purpose, GRE Examination, and TOEFL.

Both the GRE and TOEFL exams are administered by the Educational Testing Service ( and offered at the same testing center in Lisbon.

Statement of Purpose

A statement of purpose is a brief essay that explains what you want to study in graduate school and why, summarizes your experience in your field, and details what you want to do with your degree once you complete your studies. This is a very important component of your application and you should pay a great deal of attention to it. It is more important than test scores or grades in some departments.

The Princeton Review has a helpful guide to Writing a Statement of Purpose.


The GRE General Test measures verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and analytical writing skills, skills that have been acquired over a long period of time and are not related to any specific field of study. It takes approximately four hours, during which time candidates complete tasks in analytical and expository writing, and multiple-choice questions in verbal and quantitative reasoning. The exam fee (as of 2013) is US$185.

The GRE Subject Tests measure knowledge in specific subject areas. At UT Austin they are required for admission to Mathematics and Computer Science (consult your department for details). The exam fee (as of 2013) is US$150.

The primary GRE test site in Portugal is in Lisbon although on some test dates it is also available in Coimbra, Porto, and Évora.

The results of the GRE take about 30 days to arrive, so you should plan your test ahead of time so that we receive it before the application period deadline.

For more information on the GRE or to register for an exam, see:

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

The TOEFL exam measures the ability to use standard English in an academic setting. Either the TOEFL or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam is required of all international students whose native language is not English. The exam fee in Portugal (as of 2013) is $240.

For more information on the TOEFL or to register for the exam, see:

Test Preparation

ETS offers sample questions as well as free and paid study materials for both the GRE and the TOEFL. Several schools in Portugal offer GRE and TOEFL preparation classes:

American Educational Services
Tel.: 21 849 2558; Fax: 21-849 2559

Tel. 21-3431888 / 21-3210296; Fax: 21-3431888

Tel. 21-3146000; Fax: 21-3146007